What Is Form I-9?
Form I-9, also called employment eligibility verification, is a form new employees must fill out to certify they’re authorized to work in the United States.
The form includes sections for both the employer and employee to complete and sign, but it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure this form is completed by the employee’s first day of work.
Who Needs to Complete Form I-9?
Anytime a new employee is hired, they must complete form I-9. The employer is responsible for providing the newly-hired employee with the form and instructions.
The employee needs to provide certain documents to verify their identity and prove they’re eligible to work in the U.S. The employer must examine the documents (and may choose to photocopy them) before signing the form I-9.
What Documents Do I Need to Fill Out Form I-9?
The employee needs to provide 1-2 documents to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.
The following are examples of documents that can be used to verify both identity and employment eligibility:
- A U.S. passport or passport card
- A permanent resident card or form I-551 (alien registration receipt card)
- Form I-766 (employment authorization document) containing a photo
- A foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp
Employees may need to provide two documents — one to verify their identity and one to prove work authorization.
Acceptable identification documents include:
- A driver’s license
- A school ID or other ID card with a photo
- A U.S. military or military dependent card
An employee under the age of 18 that doesn’t have a photo ID may be able to use doctor or school records as an alternate form of identification.
Some examples of documents to prove authorization to work in the U.S. include:
- A social security card
- An original copy of a birth certificate
- A U.S. Citizen ID card (form I-197)
- An employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security
For additional information about the documents employees need to provide, see the form I-9 acceptable documents list.
Does Form I-9 Need to Be Filed?
No, the employer should simply retain form I-9 for their records once both the employer and employee have completed and signed the form.
The employer must keep an employee’s form I-9 on file for at least three years after the date of hire, or one year after the employee’s termination if they worked for more than two years.
Download Form I-9
Download a blank fillable PDF of Form I-9 below: